Obama Foreign Policy

The surrender will not be ratified

Featured image Facing a November 24 deadline, the Obama administration is rushing to reach a final agreement surrendering to Iran in the P5+1 talks. Jennifer Rubin takes a look at recent reports and finds that the Obama administration is “Chasing a bad deal with Iran.” This shouldn’t be news; it’s implicit in the terms of the interim deal that we proclaimed as a famous victory late last year. But the desperation reflected »

The gathering storm, part CLVI

Featured image Watching the Obama administration sell us out to Iran, as in the interim agreement entered into late last year, I feel despondent and hopeless. It’s the way I felt when the Democrats cut off American support of the South Vietnamese government and assured its fall to the Communists rolling into Saigon, or, more recently, when Obama withdrew all our forces from Iraq. What is to be done? I have no »

Ex-Presidents and Class

Featured image Just about the entire Democratic Party is lining up to dump on Obama at the moment, including former President Jimmy Carter, who is obviously relieved that he’s no longer everyone’s go-to model for the worst president in modern memory.  But he’s taking no chances.  So he said recently about Obama’s Middle East policy: First of all we waited too long.  We let the Islamic State build up money, capability, and »

What is inherent?

Featured image Two months into the phony war we are fighting irresolutely against ISIS — or the phony war we are resolutely not fighting — we finally have a name for it. It is Operation Inherent Resolve. Robin Wright reflects on it for the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: The choice–”Operation Inherent Resolve”–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It reflects both the dashed hopes of »

Turkey finally takes military action; unfortunately, it’s against the Kurds

Featured image President Obama’s ace diplomats have been working hard to bring Turkey into the alleged coalition with which he hopes to counter ISIS. Susan Rice claimed that the U.S. at least had secured permission to use Turkish bases to launch strikes against ISIS. That claim is false, according to Turkey (which should know). Now comes word that Turkey has taken military action. Unfortunately, it has done so not against ISIS, but »

Susan Rice’s Sunday trifecta of dissembling

Featured image Sir Henry Winton once defined a diplomat as “an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” Susan Rice, by contrast, has earned the reputation of a dishonest operative sent to lie on Sunday talk shows for the good of her president. She undertook that mission in the first instance when she appeared on the Sunday shows to claim that the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous »

Susan Rice: All is well

Featured image ISIS has advanced to the outskirts of Baghdad and into Kobani. They preside over territory that continues to grow in extent and sustain their financial needs. According to National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Meet the Press this morning (NBC account and video here), however, now is no time to reevaluate President Obama’s “strategy” opposing ISIS. All is well. “No, Chuck, this is very early days of the strategy,” Rice »

A problem with “boots on the ground”

Featured image It seems likely that air strikes alone aren’t going to accomplish President Obama’s alleged goal of degrading and destroying ISIS, and almost certain that an air campaign of the low intensity we’ve witnessed so far is inadequate. It also appears that the Iraqi Army and the rebels we support in Syria are not up to the task. Accordingly, if we truly want to degrade/destroy ISIS, or even set it back »

Indecent proposal, nuclear edition

Featured image Keeping up with the news and commentary that followed the interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program late last year, I found the Iranian authorities to be a better source of information than Obama administration spokesmen. The Iranian authorities justifiably elaborated with victors’ pride the concessions they had extracted from the United States and the other parties; the Obama administration preferred to play down the concessions. Since then the »

ISIS Threatens Baghdad

Featured image Iraq’s government is pleading for the return of American troops as ISIS has advanced to within eight miles of Baghdad: Iraqi officials have issued a desperate plea for America to bring US ground troops back to the embattled country, as heavily armed Islamic State militants came within striking distance of Baghdad. Amid reports that Isil forces have advanced as far as Abu Ghraib, a town that is effectively a suburb »

Syria airstrikes off to rocky start; no-fly zone needed

Featured image The Washington Post reports that U.S. airstrikes in Syria have “gotten off to a rocky start.” The primary beneficiary of the strikes, according to Post reporter Liz Sly, is the Assad regime. With ISIS under pressure from U.S. airstrikes, Sly says the regime has been able to focus its resources on the rebels that President Obama hopes, after a year of training, will be able successfully to fight ISIS. One »

The left’s latest joke: First Amendment is a barrier to countering Islamist ideology

Featured image Bill Gertz has a lengthy and fascinating piece in the Washington Free Beacon about what he calls the Obama administration’s failure “to wage ideological war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) terrorists.” Gertz attributes the failure to “fears that attacking [ISIS's] religious philosophy will violate the constitutional divide between church and state.” It seems difficult to believe that the First Amendment explains Obama’s unwillingness to »

Et Tu, Jimmy?

Featured image When Jimmy Carter starts criticizing your foreign policy as weak and indecisive, you are getting to the bottom of the barrel. Jimmy unloaded on Barack Obama yesterday: Former President Jimmy Carter is criticizing President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy, saying he has shifting policies and waited too long to take action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In an interview published Tuesday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, »

The Dempsey diagnosis

Featured image Is our campaign against ISIS for real, or is it a phony war? Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey gave the powerful impression of a man resigned to defeat in his interview yesterday with Martha Raddatz on ABC News (video below), discussing the imminent fall of Kobani in Syria. General Dempsey, what’s the plan? We know ISIS is for real. It appears that the constraints under which you are operating may »

Jen Psaki Explains Iraqi Victories [Updated]

Featured image We have had occasion, more than once, to turn a critical eye on Jen Psaki, the State Department’s spokesperson. She seems underqualified for the job, to put it gently. Honestly, I have seen Cub Scout troops with better spokesmen. Maybe it’s the fact that her husband is a big deal in the Democratic Party. Or maybe the administration thinks that, given the disarray of its foreign policy, incoherence is a »

Biden misses the significance of Panetta’s criticism

Featured image Joe Biden took a shot at Leon Panetta for criticizing the Obama administration in his forthcoming book, Worthy Fights. The Vice President complained: I’m finding that former administration officials, as soon as they leave, write books, which I think is inappropriate. But any rate; no, I’m serious. I do think it’s inappropriate. At least give the guy a chance to get out of office. Biden’s statement is self-serving — unlike »

Speaking of “near certainty”

Featured image Alan Dershowitz’s Wall Street Journal column “The education of a wartime president” is behind the Journal’s subscription paywall but is easily accessible via Google. I learned something from it and urge readers to check it out. It is an important column, deserving of extended discussion in a couple of respects. I want to take it up by annotating it with relevant links. Professor Dershowitz introduces his subject with an Obama »